Buffalo scored the first eight points of the evening, with the final points coming from Evans, who went on to score the next eight points for the Bulls. UTA fought back and took its first lead of the contest at 13-12 with 12:33 remaining, but the Bulls answered with an 8-2 run. Quiet the first two games, senior Will Regan had a breakout night as he scored seven straight points for the Bulls during the run.
The Bulls opened up a double-digit lead for the first time in this young season as reigning MAC East Player of the Week Justin Moss hit a layup with 9:11 left to give UB a 57-47 advantage. The Mavericks cut it back to 57-52, but Buffalo answered with a 10-0 run that featured three-pointers from junior Jarryn Skeete, as well as Evans, putting the Bulls ahead 67-52 with 4:32 left.
UTA tried to make a late rally, but never pulled any closer than six thanks to some clutch free throw shooting. Buffalo went 24-for-31 from the free throw line.
"I knew this was going to be a difficult game for us emotionally after Sunday's game at Kentucky, and to be able to bounce back emotionally and scratch and claw and get a win, I am happy for these guys," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "I am glad to see Shannon and Will bounce back and play well offensively, so this is definitely a confidence-building win."
Evans went 7-of-14 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the free throw line as he finished with his career-best 24 points. Evans also added five assists and two steals. Regan had a season-best 15 points, hitting three treys and also going a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line. He added six rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Skeete finished with nine of his 13 points in the second half, also recording six rebounds, while Moss added 11 points and six rebounds despite playing just six minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Freshman Lamonte Bearden added eight points and a career-high seven rebounds.
Defensively, the Bulls held the Mavs to under 40 percent shooting as UTA put up 31 three-pointers, converting on nine of them. Buffalo forced UTA into 16 turnovers and the Bulls out-rebounded their competition, 44-38.
Texas-Arlington, which evened its record to 1-1 with the loss, got a game-high 15 points from Erick Neal, one of three Maverick players in double figures.
After playing two straight on the road, the Bulls will return home on Friday night when they host Montana State at 7:00 pm.
(Courtesy of UB Athletics/MRO Edit)